Hearing with both ears, though one is deaf

Q.  I lost the hearing in my right ear 20 years ago when I was in high school.  Hearing better and keeping my current job has become even more important given the economic impact by the virus.  Is there a way a hearing aid might help my right ear?

A.  I would recommend two steps for you.  Set up a thorough hearing test with a hearing aid demonstration.  If the aid(s) work well during your appointment, arrange for a trial that lasts 3 to 4 weeks.

  If a hearing test shows you have some marginal hearing in your right ear, a hearing aid for that ear could improve clarity and ease of listening for you. 

  If your right ear has no residual hearing what so ever, you might benefit from a Cros hearing aid system.  A Cros system has two ‘units’.  One looks like a hearing aid, but it is just a microphone.  You would wear this microphone unit on your right ear.  The second unit is a true hearing aid, and it receives the signal from the microphone.  You would wear this unit on your left ear, your ‘good’ ear.  You left ear ‘hears’ what the right ear is listening to.

  If successful, it will sound like you are hearing from your right ear.  Sometimes it can take a few weeks to allow your brain to acclimate to the Cros system to fully gain its benefits.

  Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin.  We are making appointments for new patients on a selective basis.  Get your hearing tested and listen to a right hearing aid and a set of Cros instruments.  We provide coaching and adjustments during a 4-week hearing aid trial for patients to fully test out hearing aids before they make a final purchase. 

Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award.  Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad.  Since 2008, he has provided over $155,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.